You shouldn’t type an ad requesting a videographer or professional cameraman when all you really want is the camera. I mean, do you really care if the camera meets NTSC/SMPTE standards or the cameraman meets ENG/EFP standards? Do you even know what that means? Professionals do, and it matters to them-videographers, that is-and this is where your problem comes in, seeing how you’re probably paying WAY under the rate card.
An average full-day rate for a videographer/camera package is $600 to $1600 and depends on experience and type of camera. Price normally includes the operator, camera and a couple of lights and a tripod. Other items that might be required AND cost extra: More lights, audio, grip package. Now that you have additional equipment, you’ll need additional man power. Suggestion: Do not expect a lonely cameraman to be able to do all of the creative conceptualizing.
Just because a video camera can shoot in HD does NOT mean it is a professional video camera.
Here are some important video camera specs to ask the videographer about:
1. What size and quantity of CCDs does the camera have? A professional camera will have 3 CCDs, at least a 1/3 inch size.
2. Low lux specifications and gain (important for shooting in low light environment)
3. Compression ratio: compression 4:1:1 (minimum) as well if camera is HD.
4. Does it have an interchangeable lense? or what is the zoom?
5. Progressive or interlaced? (important for chroma key and sports events)
6. If all of this is greek, be sure to find a producer who will take the time to explain it all. Beware of people who refuse to let you in on what they’re doing.
So the next time you decide to post to Craig’s list needing a videographer, think about calling a professional videographer first. Discuss everything before hand as much as possible. Who’s doing the editing? Will lunch be provided? Do you work weekends? If all you want is a camera, ask your nephew-you know, the one who got the HD Jr. for Christmas.